Here you can follow the blow-by-blow account of my attempt to transform myself into a (regularly) published author.

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Dubois Files at Storybook Village

Storybook Village logo
So, yesterday I was in Pentwater, and some book friends reminded me that I haven't been in to check out Storybook Village, and ask her about buying my books.

I got myself downtown and went in. Had a nice chat with the owner, Barbara Sims. She's created an amazing, enticing world of books, special toys, and a kids' movie theater (undersea film was looping when I was there) at the bend on Hancock Street.

It's truly an honor to have my children's books, the Dubois Files, for sale at this store.

Dubois Files Children's mysteries

This is how you must do it, if you decide self-publishing is for you... one bookstore at a time. Even if you find a distributor who will put your books in their catalog, they will no longer make the contacts for you.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Interlochen Mystery Writing Intensive Workshop

This past week, as the result of a generous scholarship provided by Ludington Writers, I was able to attend the Mystery Writing Intensive Workshop at Interlochen Fine Arts Camp. The instructor was Aaron Stander (author of the Ray Elkins mysteries).

It was a great week of writing exercises, writing assignments on our own works, guest speakers, networking, and playtime.

We began by hearing from a retired policeman who gave us a run-down of what the proper procedure is at a crime scene. Then we went and analyzed our "own" murder scene.

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

When we returned to the classroom, we split into groups and each was given a time period- say the 1930s. Then we had to group-write (not easy!) a scene incorporating the dead body we'd just found and place the story in that era.

We huddled up closer to share our samples with the whole group, and have discussion.

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

There were instructional segments about writing place, character, and showing vs. telling.

At the end of one of the days, Aaron invited us to his home, where he and his wife Mary Kay had snacks prepared and we all got better acquainted. I think this is a nice picture of Aaron (with Hamish!)

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

It was not insignificant that our workshop was treated respectfully! The music instruction group just down the hall from us was told not to disturb us.

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

In addition to the in-class writing, we had assignments every night. These were usually to advance our own works in progress, but focusing on the lesson of the day.

First thing each morning, we'd share our homework in the smaller groups, provide and receive feedback, and then revise our own work accordingly.

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

There were fun times too. Wednesday evening, most everyone went along for a walk on the Lake Michigan beach. Participants were not all local. We had people from as far away as Arizona and Maryland. Then we all went to dinner together.

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

We had a second guest speaker, Mardi Link, who has written true crime stories.

Those of us who actually have books done had a chance to tell a bit about our journey in publishing.

Finally, just a group picture without one of our folks who had already left to catch a plane, and with one of the guest speakers.

Interlochen Mystery Writers Workshop 2018

This was an awesome opportunity, and I'll be soaking in the positive effects for a long time to come.

See Blood and Tea

Sunday, June 17, 2018

James H. Hall Award from MOWA

I've been a member of the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association for a little more than a year, and I learned in January that they give out awards for quality writing. In addition to that (and a great move to my way of thinking), they've begun recognizing "non-consumptive" outdoor recreation. In other words, things other than hunting and fishing. Which is all I ever write about, eh?

So I figured I couldn't possibly win if I didn't enter, right? Actually got my stuff together and turned in by the due date. Here is one of the categories I entered:

JAMES H. HALL AWARD - For the best outdoor feature highlighting a non-consumptive activity awarded in newspaper, magazine or paid web.. The award recognizes features about "non-consumptive activities"; (such as travel, camping, canoeing, hiking). The award recognizes humorous,instructive subjects, natural history, or other such "soft" material written about non-consumptive activities.

Hey! I won third place. Not bad for a newbie. The article was "Martin Johnson- A Purpose Fulfilled."

If you click the picture, it should show up large enough to read if you want.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Grey Wolfe Scriptorium Visit

authors Wendy Thomson, Diana Wolfe, Joan H. Young

In keeping with my apparent goal to take a bad selfie everywhere possible, here's one from the Grey Wolfe Scriptorium in Clawson, Michigan. I had an author event there this evening. Since only Diana Wolfe, the owner and author (center), Wendy Thomson author, and I showed up, we just sat around and talked author stuff.

They let me ramble on about my books for a while, but then we talked about writing styles and genres and books we like and all that.

Nice to get to know Diana and Wendy better.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Getting Paper and eBook Editions Linked on Amazon

Amazon editions not linked

Now that Kindle and CreateSpace are not altogether the same thing, your paperback and electronic editions of the same book may not be automatically linked. Does this matter? Yes!

If they are not linked, when people find your title, they will see one or the other editions but not both. Where that red oval is in the graphic under "see all formats and editions," it should have another box for "paperback." People are going to think you didn't offer both choices.

This can be solved. If you just published a book, wait at least three days for them to link automatically, but if they don't you can request it be done manually.

You have to log in to your Kindle Account and find a screen where the link for Help appears at the top. It's not on every screen! Click it.

Amazon editions not linked

Then find the box called Popular Topics, and choose Linking Editions, then Contact Us in the body of the text. There is a pre-filled list of questions for you to answer. Essentially, they want to be sure everything about the editions matches. They'll ask for the ISBN and ASIN numbers.

Submit the info. I've had to do this a few times now, and the links have been created within a day.

This can also be done if there are problems with audiobooks or multiple editions of a title not being linked.